Friday, March 16, 2007

Demand Congressional Action on Climate Change

In just five days (March 21st), Al Gore will be testify before Congress for immediate action on the growing Global Warming crisis. To show that Americans feel this needs to become a legistlative priority now, before it's too late, Gore is organizing a web-based postcard-writing campaign to accompany his testimony.

This is the world's warmest winter on record. The ten warmest years on record have all occurred since 1995. We are at a point where permafrost is melting. This isn't some tree-hugging bullshit over which you vote with a political party; this is real science that has horrible implications for future generations, and it's a moral imperative that we act. Please take just a few seconds of your day to tell your congressional representatives that we need to take action now towards a more sustainable way of life.


Michael said...

Hey Ian! I've recently been following your blog, and it seems like you're a pretty open-minded guy.

And I was curious to hear what youhad to say about global warming and the 'world's priorities'. Of course, you're an extremely busy peron, so by all means, it's understandable that you don't have time to reply. Rather, maybe something for you to ponder.

Anyways, I was wondering if you've had a chance to listen to any of the TEDTalks online? One in particular, a speaker brings up the topic about prioritizing the world's biggest problems. The general gist of it, in case you don't have time to watch the 20 minute clip, talks about how it would take a lot of money to do a little amount of good (global warming), as opposed to a lot of money, and doing a lot of good (AIDS epidemic, Africa, etc).

And I'm by no means harping or against the global warming issue, and I'm not 'fixed on a side', or tring to change your mind, or anything like that.

I just find this topic interesting, and would like to see what other people think. The link to the video of Bjorn Lomborg is here:

(If it doesn't play there are also links below it to download the audio or video files.

Take care! Maybe if you watch the video, and ponder it at your next gesture drawing session, we'll see what kind of material you produce, haha. Oh, and thanks for the interesting read about your day of the airport =)

PS> If you're looking for other things to ponder or think about, pretty much all the TEDTalks have amazing speakers and great topics that cover everything from Wikipedia's future goals, to world's poverty crisis, to monks in Tibet, to the pursuit of happiness. Lots of great material =) A friend of mine told me about them, and I've found that they're great to listen to when I'm sketching people or just doing whatever.

Ian said...

Thanks for the post, Michael! I had a chance to catch up with your post today and I agree with some of this presentation, but not all of it.

Good points:

- I'm not offended; It's fair to attempt a model to judge now effectively money can be spent on world problems.

- I agree that Kyoto was not an economically viable plan. I don't even believe that Democrats would have stuck to it; I've probably said before that Gore was admittedly not the best politician.

Primarily I had these problems with the Speaker's logic:

- He didn't factor in the consequences over time of deprioritizing climate change. Under his model, how will it ever be addressed? Climate change could very well undermine the other efforts he favored as it will in theory cause disease, starvation, migrations, and so on. Not a smart cycle: you'd end up perenially addressing symptoms without looking at causes. Layers of duct tape are cheap, but they never fix a broken pipe in the long run.

- I don't agree that the decade-old Kyoto model is a fair one for fighting climate change; there is better thinking today. Check out the Virgin Earth Challenge (, similar in structure to the extremely successful Virgin Space Challenge. Realistically, it could be a whole lot easier to approach the problem by finding a way to trap and remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Government incentives towards Green Education and Economics could be a complimentary approach to funding research on CO2 traps.

So I'm willing to be a little thoretical when it comes down to it, but I do think CO2 traps may be the only way to do much at this point, given how the slowly-evolving nature of the problem will always prevent us from acting swiftly. At a more political level, I also would argue that energy independence is important priority for national security... the two can be connected.

Whew, good thing I had all my St. Patty's revelry done early today :)

- Ian

Michael said...

Hey! Sorry for the late reply. But I'm happy that I commented in the first place, as your response was exactly something I was looking for. I feel that I am not knowledgeable enough about the global warming issue. But I definitely agree with the duct tape & pipe analogy (well put by the way). Also, it makes perfect sense that it eventually will be the very cause of many problems.

I guess it's that I don't know what I can do directly. Perhaps it's just the everyday things for now to keep watch on. But for me, I still feel like I'm more passionate about helping prevent so much corruption and poverty that goes on in other countries, Africa in particular. If you haven't heard of "Invisible Children", it's an amazing documentary about the children abducted in Uganda and brainwashed into soldiers. It's crazy to think how such things could happen, and yet so many people are completely oblivious to it.

Heh, ran off on a bit of a tangent. Anyways, thanks for the quick and insightful reply. I appreciate it =) Oh, and the Virgin Earth Challenge seems really interesting. I would like to see what comes from it.